Lesson 7-Teach Truth
Toys, Books, Drama
The seventh lesson is divided up into several parts. In this post we will look at 3 of those sections.
Toys and Children’s Play
How our children play is an index to what is going on in their minds.
“Our words index the state of our heart and whether men talk much or little, their words express the character of their thoughts. A man’s character may be quite accurately estimated by the nature of his conversation. Sound, truthful words have the right ring in them. (Sons and Daughters of God 180)
There are different kinds of Fantasies
- Real Constructive- This is the kind of play we want our child to be involved in. They are fantasizing of being a character that is useful such as a truck driver or this can be the father letting the child ride on his back and pretending to be a horse.
- Real Destructive-A child pretending to shoot another person, or beat up someone. (This owould include video games)
- Supernatural-A child pretending to fly through the air like Mighty Mouse or Superman.
Side Note: I personally have seen little boys who believe they are Bat Man. Perhaps you have seen them too. They dress up as the character and wear the costume to just about anywhere that their parent’s will let them and a few of them I have seen will not even respond to their mother if she calls them by any other name.
There are four areas of dangerous toys (Toys that are dangerous to the spiritual life).
If our children have toys that fall under these categories, we need to get rid of them and replace them with useful items and items that are non-offensive such as bed spreads that do not have fictitious characters on them. When family members ask for ideas of what to get your children for birthdays and holidays, present a list of useful items such as tools and books.
“The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Ecclesiastes 12:11)
“The Bible contains all that is needful for the saving of the soul, and at the same time it is adapted to strengthen and discipline the mind. Used as a textbook in our schools, it will be found far more effective than any other book in guiding wisely in the affairs of this life, as well as in aiding the soul to climb the ladder that reaches to heaven. The Bible gives the true seeker an advanced mental drill; he comes from the contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched. Self is humbled, while God and His truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the truths of the bible that there is so much lifting up of man and so little honor given to God.” (Counsels to Teachers 448)
Our children should not read fiction. Fiction:
Imparts no real knowledge
Inspires no great good and purpose
Kindles in the heart no earnest desire for purity
Excites no soul hunger for righteousness
“Even fiction which contains no suggestion of impurity, and which may be intended to teach excellent principles, is harmful. It encourages the habit of hasty and superficial reading merely for the story. Thus it tends to destroy the power of connected and vigorous thought; it unfits the soul to contemplate the great problems of duty and destiny.” (The Ministry of Healing 445-446)
Note: John Bunyan’s work the Pilgrim’s Progress is not included in this category. See references to Bunyan in 9 Testimonies 217 “Allegory;” Christ Object Lessons 236 “Redeemed from Sinful Life” for more details.
We should stay away from those things that are Impractical, Intemperate, Secular, Uninspired, Confusing, and Hasty. When these warning are not heeded, the results seen are often: loss of healthful tone of the brain, diseased imagination, the nerves being taxed unnecessarily, the mind being dwarfed, and many other things.
“Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there by any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
“Many of the amusements popular in the world today, even with those who claim to be Christians, then to the same end as did those of the heathen. There are indeed few among them that Satan does not turn to account in destroying souls. Through the drama he has worked for ages to excite passion and glorify vice. The opera, with its fascinating display and bewildering music, the masquerade, the dance, the card table, Satan employs to break down the barriers of principle and open the door to sensual indulgence. In every gathering for pleasure where pride is fostered or appetite indulged, where one is led to forget God and lose sight of eternal interests, there Satan is binding his chains about the soul” (Patriarchs and Prophets 459-460)
There are four basic steps that Satan uses to educate the mind to sin:
- Life of ease
- Kept before the people
- The tender conscience eventually becomes hardened
“Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater…” (Counsels to Teachers 334)
“Acting is pretending as is a counterfeit of witnessing.”
Hypocrite-one who acts or performs on the stage acting under a feigned part.
“Worldly or theatrical entertainments are not essential for the prosperity of the sanitarium or for the health of the patients. The more they have of this kind of amusements, the less will they be pleased unless something of the kind shall be continually carried on. The mind is in a fever of unrest for something new and exciting, the very thing it ought not to have. And if these amusements are once allowed, they are expected again, and the patients lose their relish for any simple arrangement to occupy the time. But repose, rather than excitement, is what many of the patients need.
As soon as these entertainments are introduced, the objections to the theater going are removed from many minds, and the plea that moral and high toned scenes are to be acted as the theater breaks down the last barrier. (4 Testimonies 578)
For those that have been involved in drama, there are four ways that God can heal:
- Study of the Word
- Through Nature
- Hard, productive work
May Psalm 119:30 be our prayer: “I have chosen the way of truth thy judgments have I laid before me.
2 thoughts on “Ten Principles of True Education-VII (a)”
I have been to a VBS where drama is used in the following manner: an elder is dressed in a period costume while telling a bible story. Another person dressed in a period costume illustrates parts in the story. Question: Is this acceptable by the standards of Phillipians 4:8?
Also, are the character building stories produced as part of the Rod and Staff or Christian Light reading programs acceptable likewise?
Hi Yvonne and thank you for your comment/question. First let me say that I am not personally familiar with the Rod and Staff reading programs so I am not able to comment on those specifically. I will say that we are counseled to not just take things away when we find issues with them, but to replace them with things more suitable.
As far as the elder dressed in a period costume while telling a bible story, I personally do not see anything objectionable as long as the story is true to the Bible.
I hope that this answers your question. Please feel free to ask more if it doesn’t. 🙂